The kids are on summer break, the sun is always shinning and nothing sounds more perfect than a family vacation. But before families pack up and hit the road, there are several precautions they should take to ensure their house and valuables are still there when they return.

“The U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that violent crime and home break-ins rise in the summer months with the heat, school breaks and as more Americans leave their homes to go on vacation,” an article in MSN Real Estate said.

The article outlines 6 ways families can protect their homes better.

1. Lock it

"Thieves look for the easiest entry points to homes, and you can't beat an unlocked door or window for easy access,"MSN said. This is the first and easiest step to do. 

2. Specialize it

The article noted that if you add some motion sensors to your home's entryways, thieves will likely keep right on going — away from your house

3. Know your neighbors

"Police highly recommend keeping a watchful eye on your neighborhood and reporting any suspicious activity," it said. And just as they do this for you, you can do the same for them. 

4. Don't forget about the outside

For your outside items, make sure to lock them up and engrave the machines. The article noted that doing so will make the valuables harder for criminals to sell, encouraging them to move on to another target or at least making the goods easier to recover.

5. Don't let repair people in without a full check

"Avoid repair "professionals" who drive unmarked vans, have no business card card or documents or who pressure you to hire them," the article said. "They either want to rip you off now or once they pin down your schedule"

6. No social networking (this is the one most of us fail on.)

In today's world, users can check in and simply post pictures clearing showing they are either not home or out of town, and with only a few clicks, it is obvious to realize. Picture the The Ring Bling as an example of what could happen.